FORMER Leeds player Johnny Giles has expressed his sympathy for United’s supporters who are enduring yet more anguish over the club’s sorry plight.
On Friday six of United’s foreign contingent declared themselves unfit ahead of Saturday’s game with Charlton.
The last month has also seen head coach Neil Redfearn lose his assistant Steve Thompson to suspension while the club’s board attempted to stop Mirco Antenucci playing to avoid triggering a contractual clause.
Fans voiced their anger towards banned owner Massimo Cellino at The Valley, with chants of “Massimo, time to go”.
The six absent players – Marco Silvestri, Mirco Antenucci, Giuseppe Bellusci, Souleymane Doukara, Edgar Cani and Dario Del Fabro – also earned disparaging name checks.
Giles said: “I am really sorry for the supporters.
“They are the ones who are suffering more than anyone else.
“Leeds are a great club with great supporters and they don’t deserve what they are getting. It is very sad. I have total sympathy with the supporters.”
Cellino yesterday denied suggestions the sextet declared themselves injured on his instructions, saying: “I am not a coward and not the sort of guy who tells his players to go on strike.
“I only found out on Friday evening. I admit it looks weird. But if the players were injured, why didn’t the manager inform the chairman (Andrew Umbers)?
“This looks like a fight between manager Neil Redfearn and the ownership of the club, which is not good.”
Umbers said: “Massimo is disqualified. He doesn’t know what happens on a day-to-day basis.”